Summary

  • Reiki is a natural form of therapy, which uses non-invasive gentle touch to promote feelings of wellbeing.
  • Do not be afraid to question the practitioner’s credentials, training and professional association membership.
  • Do not trust any therapist who says they can cure serious illness or asks you to abandon other treatments.
Reiki, pronounced ‘ray-key’, is a Japanese form of therapy that aims to increase energy levels and promote relaxation and wellbeing. Developed in the late 19th century, reiki is applied through non-invasive, non-manipulative gentle touch.

The underlying philosophy of reiki is that if a person’s energy is low, they are more likely to be unwell or stressed. If it is high, however, they are more capable of being happy and feeling well. Reiki will not cure illnesses or disease, but it may help your body to feel more relaxed and peaceful.

General caution for reiki

Reiki is not a treatment for illness or disease. Reiki is a complementary therapy in that it works alongside other medical and therapeutic techniques. Some reiki practitioners claim they can heal serious diseases, such as cancer. This may prompt a person with cancer to abandon medically proven treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Always be guided by your doctor or specialist. Be very wary of any reiki practitioner who advises you to abandon your conventional medical treatment.

Do not stop any medical treatments on the advice of your reiki practitioner.

Reiki practitioner

A professional reiki practitioner is someone who has completed at least the second level of a reiki course and is insured appropriately. A professional reiki practitioner should also have first aid skills and membership of a professional organisation.

Most countries have professional reiki associations for practitioners. These associations will have a set of standards of practice and codes of ethics that practitioners must abide by.

The best way to find a reiki practitioner is by referral from friends, or you can contact the various reiki associations. Many of these have a directory of referred practitioners who meet the required criteria for professional practitioners.

How reiki is used

Reiki can contribute to a person’s wellbeing by making them feel:
  • relaxed
  • peaceful
  • more energetic.

Reiki session

In general, a reiki session will involve:
  • You will be asked to lie on a reiki table or sit in a chair.
  • The practitioner places their hands on or just above your body in sequences of positions.
  • Unlike massage, a reiki session does not involve any form of physical manipulation.
  • You do not need to remove any clothing and no private parts of your body are touched.
  • During a session, you may feel warmth or cold, a tingling sensation, slight twitching or a rumbling tummy, or you may feel absolutely nothing.
  • A complete reiki session can last from 60 to 90 minutes.

Reiki in the community

Reiki is a complementary therapy. In Australia, it is currently being provided in many hospitals, nursing homes, palliative care hospices and community service settings. The system of reiki works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to support the relief of side effects, reduce pain and promote wellness.

Where to get help

  • Professional reiki organisation
  • Registered reiki practitioner

Things to remember

  • Reiki is a natural form of therapy, which uses non-invasive gentle touch to promote feelings of wellbeing.
  • Do not be afraid to question the practitioner’s credentials, training and professional association membership.
  • Do not trust any therapist who says they can cure serious illness or asks you to abandon other treatments.
References

More information

Complementary and alternative care

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Alternative systems and therapies

Content Partner

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Australian Reiki Connection Inc.

Last updated: January 2016

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